Caterpillars have it easy; weave a cocoon, go to sleep, and, voila! wake up a butterfly. I, on the other hand, have my work cut out for me.
My ten-day fast was intended, not only to cleanse my body and short-circuit some bad eating habits that had developed, but also to give me the chance to “strip down to the chassis” and start over. Before the fast, I wavered between 156 and 158 pounds; about ten pounds over the ideal weight for my 5′ 7-3/4″ frame; most of the extra was around my waist. I wanted to take the extra strain off my legs and come out of the fast ready to become stronger, faster and more durable.
Yes, this was an all-out declaration of war on Father Time. And, yes, I know it is a conflict I will ultimately, some day, lose. But there a lot of battles that I can win before that day comes.
Eight days have gone by since the end of the fast. My strength has grown every day. On each of those days, I’ve added additional core exercises and reps, started doing push-ups, ate healthier… and I feel better than I have in a long, long time. The arthritis in my hands has still not returned. My legs are still pain-free. I have returned to what I consider my “ideal” weight of 147 pounds (from a low of 141).
My run yesterday was everything I hoped it would be at this stage; ten relaxed miles that did not feel as fast as they were. My stride was lighter and smoother and the pace was quicker than any run since my marathon on September 17 and this run was easy. A 3:15 Boston marathon is within my grasp if I stay the course.
I am struggling mightily (and, in part, unsuccessfully) to avoid falling back into the black-hole of snacking. For now, I’m managing to stick (mostly) to healthier whole nuts, but I know I have to dig deep and find the discipline to limit even these to healthy-size portions. And there are some good habits I would like to acquire, mostly having to do with stretching and self-massage, things that I know can help me stay injury-free.
All-in-all, I am pleased with the rebuilding project so far. There may have been a bent nail here and there; some of the walls still need to be squared-up. But I’ve squeaked by the first inspection and hope to do better on the next one.